RYAN Rhodes’ trainer and promoter are at war a month before the boxer attempts to win the European title.
The spat threatens to overshadow the Sheffield light-middleweight’s preparations for his June 16 contest with Belarussian Sergey Rabchenko.
Trainer Dave Coldwell discovered on Twitter that Rhodes’ promoter, Ricky Hatton, was training Rabchenko.
Hatton says: “I tweeted a week ago that Sergey had landed and was in the gym training. Coldwell tweeted back that Ryan didn’t know I was training him and as Ryan’s promoter I was trying to get him beat. It goes without saying I’m training Sergey to win but as a promoter it doesn’t change anything.
“As the promoter of the winner I’ll bend over backwards to secure a world title and will be there to help the loser rebuild his career.”
Hatton admits he is in “an awkward and horrible position as trainer and promoter.”
But he insisted he had 35-year-old Rhodes’ interests in heart. “For Coldwell to insinuate that we would possibly be stitching Ryan up and not acting in his best interests has hurt me personally. These are unfair comments from Coldwell and show what a fickle sport boxing is,” he said.
Rotherham-based Coldwell is sticking to his guns.
“When Ryan signed a contract with Ricky it would have stated that the Hattons would do everything they can to further his career. How does that square with the fact he is now examining Ryan’s weaknesses and trying to work on a plan to beat him?”
Asked if Rhodes felt undermined by Hatton, Coldwell said: “Ryan was upset when he found out. He’s not happy. There isn’t a boxer anywhere who wouldn’t feel the same. But he’s seen it all before. He will put it behind him and when he beats Rabchenko it will make it all the sweeter.”